Throughout its 125-year history, Goodyear has always been driven by technological innovation. Once such feat is Goodyear’s pride in being the developer of the ‘fastest tyre in the world’ – a statement that holds true in multiple capacities.
On October 23, 1970, a benchmark was set in the field of automotive technology when the rocket car Blue Flame, equipped with Goodyear tyres, broke the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) land speed record, reaching a staggering 622.407 mph over a flying mile, and 630.388 mph over a flying kilometre.
These milestones were achieved on the Bonneville Salt Flats, which provided the ideal conditions for testing the limits of vehicular speed and performance. Additionally, the remarkable feat of achieving record-breaking runs was accomplished in the challenging circumstances of 3 inches of snow, further highlighting its impressive nature.
Goodyear designed 8:00-25 tyres for the vehicle, with an outside diameter of 34.8 inches and a smooth tread surface to help prevent heat buildup, filled with nitrogen gas at 350 psi.
Blue Flame’s exceptional design and engineering, including its advanced rocket propulsion system, were instrumental in surpassing the previous record, and the achievement served as a catalyst for continued innovation in the field. There is no question that the vehicle’s remarkable achievement in breaking the record depended on its high-performance Goodyear tyres, without which such a feat would have been impossible. These tyres are a remarkable demonstration of human innovation and engineering expertise, as they enabled the vehicle to reach an unprecedented level of speed and performance.
Goodyear’s achievement was not an isolated example, however, as the company had previously demonstrated a proclivity for setting records. In 1963, Goodyear was the first to develop a tyre that was capable of exceeding 400 mph, when Craig Breedlove drove his first Spirit of America to success.
In recent years, Goodyear also equipped the British-made JCB DieselMax car, which set a 328 mph land speed record for diesel-powered vehicles in 2006, and Volvo Trucks’ The Iron Knight which broke two world speed records for trucks in 2016. The truck achieved an average speed of 105 mph in a time of 21.29 seconds over 1,000 metres from a standing start. The Iron Knight also beat the record for the 500-metre distance, reaching 81.6 mph in 13.71 seconds from a standing start.
Goodyear has never ceased to push the boundaries of what is possible. It’s tyres now represent a century and a quarter of innovation, driven by technological advancement, and a passion for delivering the highest quality, perfectly tailored tyres. Goodyear’s legacy lies far further than in the development of its tyres alone; its influence stems from the significant progress and innovative strides its technology has made over the course of the past 125 years.
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